Saturday, February 23, 2008

By Chuck Richter - Executive Editor

A year after putting some hurtin' on Pacific Coast League pitchers, hitting .347 with 29 home runs, 105 RBI and a ridiculous 1.141 OPS for the Edmonton Trappers, the Kingfish headed upstream to Anaheim and won a unanimous vote for the American League Rookie of the Year Award in 1993 .

Salmon, a notorious slow starter who holds the unique distinction of having the most home runs of any player never selected to an All-Star team, was no different during his rookie campaign as he started the '93 season in the shadow of rookie sensation J.T. Snow, who got off to a tremendous start. The second half was always much kinder to Salmon, as it seemed that his bat heated up with the weather and, boy, did he put a pounding on the Texas Rangers.

Salmon, not Snow, wound up winning the award, representing a first for the California Angels. He batted .283 with 31 home runs and 95 RBI, along with 35 doubles, 93 runs scored and a slugging percentage of .536. He was also tied in A.L. outfield assists with 12. Snow started the 1994 season in the minors after struggling badly in the second half of Salmon's ROY campaign.

Salmon quickly became a favorite of the Angels organization and a household name among the team's fans thereafter. Timmy played a crucial role in the Angels' playoff and World Series run in 2002, hitting two key home runs in Game 2 of the World Series against the San Francisco Giants, a moment in Angels history that fans will never forget.

The King Fish was hampered by injuries late in his career and was forced to retire in 2006. Salmon played his final game on Oct. 1, 2006, against the Oakland Athletics. He is the Angels' all-time leader in home runs (299), runs scored (983), walks (965) and slugging percentage (.499). He finished his career second in franchise history with 1,012 RBI, behind only Garret Anderson.

To this day, Tim Salmon remains the only Angels player that has won a Rookie of the Year Award, though when Angels fans remember him, it won't be just the stats, big home runs or awards that they think of, but Tim Salmon the person. Tim Salmon was the quintessential gentleman of the game of Baseball.

Career Highlights, Awards, and Accolades:

* Named 1992 Minor League Player of the Year by Baseball America
* Named 1992 Minor League Player of the Year by The Sporting News
* Named 1993 AL Rookie of the Year by Baseball Writers of America
* Named 1993 AL Rookie of the Year by The Sporting News
* Named 2002 AL Comeback Player of the Year by The Sporting News
* Named outfielder on The Sporting News AL All-Star Team in 1995 and 1997
* Named outfielder on The Sporting News AL Silver Slugger Team in 1995
* Member of the World Series Champion Anaheim Angels in 2002
* Hit 30 or more home runs in five seasons
* Compiled a lifetime .883 OPS
Love to hear what you think!


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